A few tips for safer night driving

I love the fall. The changing leaves are beautiful, and while the air is crisp and cold it is usually dry, allowing me to continue taking my kids to the park or play in the yard. Plus, it means the holiday season is nearing; Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday, so I look forward to it around this time every year.

But fall also brings along shorter days and, unfortunately, more night driving. When driving in the dark, there is an increased risk of glare and halos. Add in an occasional rainstorm, and you have a recipe for some potentially dangerous conditions. I get a little more anxious when I drive this time of year, as statistics show that road deaths are three times greater during the night hours. This is a result of decreased visibility, which reduces depth perception and color recognition. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help lower the risk of night-time accidents:

1. Assure you have the best vision possible. Make sure your prescription is up-to-date. If you don’t wear glasses, but feel like your vision could be sharper, get in for an eye exam.

2. Avoid any kind of glare while driving at night. Anti-reflective lens coatings significantly help to better filter the light reaching your eyes, reducing glare and halos. This also will help prevent eye strain.

3.   Make sure the exterior lights of your car are working properly, and clean them once a week making your care more visible to others.

4. Regularly check your windshield and mirrors to make sure they’re clean, allowing for greater visibility and less glare.

5. If you’re driving for a long period of time at night, take breaks and relax your eyes. Bonus: Refreshment breaks can improve your alertness.

6. Drive at the posted speed, unless weather conditions require you to slow down. Also plan on increasing your following distance accordingly to give yourself ample time to stop if needed.

7. Follow these guidelines as soon as the sun sets, as twilight can be the most challenging time to drive because the eyes are trying to adapt to the onset of darkness.

We will be offering 50% off our anti-reflective coatings in November and December. Please come in and see us soon! And don’t forget about your flexible spending accounts (FSA) – don’t let those hard-earned dollars go to waste.

Hope to see you soon,

Katie Phillips, OD

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